The Maya civilization.
Many times I have heard about the Mayan civilization, their calendar, their progress in mathematics and astronomy, but I have never thought about their history. Where they lived? What they did? And what happened with them?
Arriving in Mexico, I had the opportunity not only to learn a little more about the Maya, but also to see the results of their work, which, by the way, very impressive. The stone city built in the middle of jungle, gone underground and re-excavated in the 19th century, add mystery and enigma to those places.
Normally, I travel myself, but this time I decided to use the services of travel agency – «Gonzalez Amazing Transport & Tours». I just walking down the street and saw a billboard with the direction what I was interested. So, I decided to go inside. I was expecting 12-hour bus tour, just thinking about which I was already worry, but desire of knowledge and love to historical places won. I thought that if I did not see the pyramids and buildings now, maybe I will not ever see them.
I would like to underline the quality of work of the agency. In addition to the comfortable bus, they provide us a good Guide with a sweet smile and well-planned tour. With a break for lunch at the cafe, across the street from the lake, in which are live a crocodile’s.
When our Guide announced that he does not recommend swimming in the lake, because in that lake live crocodiles, I thought he was joking. But try to imagine how much I was surprised, when we go out from the bus and first what we saw, was a crocodile in the lake.
Another discovery in the use of bus tours for me was that, having spent with strangers all day in one bus, you start to get used to them. They become like a part of family and at the end of the day it was even a little sad say bye to all.
Anyway, I invite you go back in the morning of the day and tell all story from the beginning.
The first stop for our bus, were the ruins of Tulum, which is located by the jungle, and protected by stone wall. According to the story of our guide, the scientists still debate about what kind of function had this city. According to one version – the city was the port for the city of Coba, because it is on the coast of the Caribbean Sea. And the famous stone wall carrying a protective function. According to another version, this city was a meeting place for intellectuals Mayan civilization, and the stone wall was acted as a fence.
Scientists came to the city Tulum twice a year, to share knowledge with each other and make new discoveries. In addition, scientists believe that the territory of the city was divided into several sectors, in which stopped to live temporary the representatives of a particular profession: doctors, astronomers, mathematicians, government. And all of their staff (slaves) lived outside the city, that is, behind of the stone wall.
Meetings of Mayan intellectuals could take months, so the people who come to serve them have to do something at that time. Behind the city walls they organized a camp. They organized also the market in which they change between each other some product from different part of Mexico.
The residents of various towns and villages, they are shared knowledge and experience.
The fact that the Maya had a highly developed culture with a good level of education, confirm also their knowledge of astronomy. We have to consider that at that time they did not have special devices, they simply climb to the top of the observatory and conducted their research using wooden sticks and natural phenomena.
And the famous Mayan calendar, in which astrologers still respect also today.
Maya also knew a lot about mathematics, they were able to multiply large numbers. Plus they knew about the existence of zero and infinity.
According to legend, the Mayan leave city of Tulum and move deep in the jungles, long time before on these lands has landed the famous Spanish conqueror Hernan Cortes. Because the city has previously been subjected to armed incursions by the discoverers of Mexico Juan de Grijalva and Francisco Hernandez de Cordoba. Leaving Tulum, Maya took with them only the necessary documents. For this reason in the city was remains a lot of documents. But Maya script is still not deciphered by archaeologists. For many years scientists have tried to explain the meaning of the symbols Maya, but they still far from success.
By the time, when Hernán Cortés in 1519 for the first time landed in Mexico, the Maya were ready for his arrival and left Tulum. The only thing could find Hernan is empty stone temples and some documents. But the Spanish was not able to read Mayan scripts and they burned and destroyed all documents.
Ending interesting story about Mayan in the city of Tulum, our Guide mysteriously added: “Mayan civilization has not disappeared, just disappeared knowledge about them ….”
Today, in the city of Tulum, you can walk through the ruins, make beautiful pictures, see the famous stone wall and preserved part of the temple. Some of them are still used by scientists to conduct research.
After finishing a tour of Tulum, we went to the next destination – the ruins of Coba.
In city of Coba there are the highest in the Northern Yucatan pyramid Nohoch-Mul, height of 42 m. To the top of the pyramid you can climb by the stair with 120 steps. In the top of that pyramid there is a ritual space with the altar.
Coba is the largest city of the Mayan civilization in the Yucatan Peninsula, estimated archaeologists area of the city is about 120 square meters, but today for tourists is open only a small part of it, but trust me enough to have an idea about it.
When we arrived in Coba, the Guide warned us that from the entrance to the city up to the pyramid Nohoch-Mul we will need to go through the jungle about 1-2 km. So, if we are tired, we can use some alternative way to arrive there, such as biking or triciclo bicycle with driver, whose we can rent.
I decided to use the services of triciclo bicycle and as a result was very happy. Because first of all, I saved the energy for lifting on the pyramid, secondly, I had a fast ride in the middle of jungles, in the third, the driver stopped near all buildings Maya, that we saw in our way, and told me about their functionality.
As the result, having made triciclo bicycle tour of Coba I went back to the bus, even more fresh and relaxed.
After the city of Coba we were swimmed in the famous Mexican Cenotes.
Cenote – is a natural pit, or sinkhole, resulting from the collapse of limestone bedrock that exposes groundwater underneath.
And after made a two hour trip back to Cancun.
I am very glad that went to this tour, because it was amazing. I even could not imagine, how much it would be informative and spectacular!